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Is it ever moral to own another person as property?

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Clizby WampusCat, May 31, 2021.

Is it ever moral to own another person as property?

  1. Yes, it is moral in some situations

    14.8%
  2. No it is never mortal.

    85.2%
  1. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    If there's mutual consent, the slave can stay if freed, so the state of bondage is unnecessary.
     
  2. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Anti-Democratic Monarchist

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    Then it would not be slavery. The master in this instance might insist that the relationship be a master/slave arrangement and what's more the slave is fine with this. I don't think this is an impossible scenario historically. But the issue I see people struggling with is the idea that slavery can in anyway be positive. It must always be viewed negatively. In this certain instance it appears to be positive. In other circumstances, like serfdom, if that is a form of slavery (certaintly it's bondage), I'm willing to bet a good many serfs were content and satisfied most of the time.
     
  3. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    In today's economy, that would be exploitation. There may have been times in history where it would have meant the slave's survival, but it is better to move further from those conditions rather than closer.

    The more freedom can be sustained, the better. That's my general rule.
     
  4. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Anti-Democratic Monarchist

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    Perhaps but that's not the actual question. The question was whether it is ever moral to own a slave. Thus we have the whole scope of history to look back into. To presume that slavery was always immoral on part of the slave owner, seems unjustified to me.


    Is it true though? Have most people used the freedom they enjoy in the 21st century for any serious benefit, for either themselves or others? Especially in the western world it doesn't appear we use our freedom, which I grant we have a lot of, for the betterment of society.

    Freedom, if it is misused, doesn't seem better.
     
  5. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    The invisible hand of capitalism, which is energized by freedom, has done immeasurable good.
     
  6. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    My answer is “no comment”.
     
  7. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    I'll just stick with our earlier agreement that involuntary slavery (in other words: "slavery") is wrong.
     
  8. Clizby WampusCat

    Clizby WampusCat Well-Known Member

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    No, my question was is it ever moral to own another person as property.

    Because the person once entering into the servitude has no rights to back out. This is why it is prohibited by the 13th amendment in the US, it equates to slavery. We can sign contracts obligating us to do something but we cannot be forced to follow through. There may be consequences of not fulfilling the contract but someone can never be forced to fulfill it.

    Absolutely. Our culture of freedom is not a bad thing but a good thing. It does not matter what someone does with their freedom. The fact that you by your own subjective opinions of what someone should do with their freedom condones slavery is scary. If you had power over people then people that think like you could make slaves of people based on the fact that you think they are unproductive or degenerate. Freedom is to do whatever you want with that freedom no matter what you think they should do with it. How can one be free if there are requirements to that freedom?
     
  9. Clizby WampusCat

    Clizby WampusCat Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough.
     
  10. The happy Objectivist

    The happy Objectivist Active Member

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    No.
     
  11. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Another thing. "Is it ever?" sounds like youre looking to see if anyone has any sort of present tense defense. "Was it ever?" would be asking about the past.
     
  12. Clizby WampusCat

    Clizby WampusCat Well-Known Member

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    I meant at any time in history. Is there any situation that would warrant owning people as property.
     
  13. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    I still think my example deserves some consideration.

    In South Africa, a Christian family legally adopts their black servants to avoid the trauma of them being forced to return to the homeland.

    This was mutual consent.

    Was it ownership? well that depends on how you define ownership.

    So far I am told we can own a pet but not own a son or daughter, yet there are laws against stealing a baby.

    So for me the question is answered in this case and is justified.
     
  14. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Anti-Democratic Monarchist

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    It has, but it hasn't been all good and i would say unrestrained capitalism and Global free trade has done a lot of damage long term. Yet that might that this thread in a widely different direction. All I will suggest is that freedom is not the ultimate good. Sometimes the will needs to be constrained.
     
  15. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Anti-Democratic Monarchist

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    I do believe I can judge someone for misusing their freedom. For instance, is the young man who spends all his savings in funding his favourite onlyfans girl doing something good or bad? Would it be better if he was prevented from doing so?

    If the answer is yes then we see that unlimited freedom is not beneficial and is harmful.

    But since we're all subjective here. Why is your subjective morality on freedom greater than my view that freedom should be limited?
     
  16. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    It hasn't all been good, and the abundance it has created has not been equal, but it has been spread out enough so that slavery is essentially outmoded as a necessary means of survival and production.
     
  17. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Very few people would advocate for "absolute freedom". Some regulatory control is necessitated for the stability of human society to function. I can't go around slaughtering people all willy-nilly, and I shouldn't be allowed to.

    I suspect even the most ardent and even extreme libertarian would acknowledge this.

    But should freedom, as a principle, be regarded as good? Yes, absolutely. The language of freedom is consistently God's language for redemption, salvation, healing, restoration, and justice. God liberated His people from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. God liberated His people from their Exile in Babylon. The Old Testament liberation of people prefigure the liberation of creation and the human person in Jesus Christ and His atoning and redeeming work. This is the same Christ who declared the fulfillment of Isaiah who wrote,

    "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the Jubilee of the Lord and the day of God's vengeance, to comfort all who mourn," - Isaiah 61:1-2

    The voluntary slavery of Christ's disciples is just that, a voluntary slavery. The same who says that we must reckon ourselves slaves of God and of righteousness, is also clear that we are regarded no longer slaves, but children.

    The use of slavery as a metaphor of our obedience to Christ, our Lord, is very much how we ought to regard ourselves; but it does not speak of how God regards us, as God does not regard us as slaves at all, but as children. Thus we operate, in our participating with God in the world, as humble servants imitating the Humble Servant Himself. In the freedom of God's grace, however, we are not slaves at all but freemen and adopted members of God's oikos, His Household. Our place in God's House is not that of a slave, but rather a child; it is outside of God's House, in the midst of the world, that we labor as servants. And thus the service we render to God from faith and love is the service to our neighbor, that we might present our bodies before God as living sacrifices, holding firm to the work to which we have been called in Christ Jesus.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  18. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    You say "is". But that different than "was", as moral rules change over time.

    In Roman times owning people was ok, apparently.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  19. Clizby WampusCat

    Clizby WampusCat Well-Known Member

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    Legal adoption is ok. Can they leave at any time?

    I believe it is immoral to allow someone to consent to being a slave. Because that is a condition for life that they cannot later rectify. If they want to enter a contract for work (not servitude) that is ok since both parties are protected by the contract.

    The bible defines it as property. So whatever you can do with your property you can do with a slave. Like sell them, use as collateral etc.

    This is what our society in the US allows. We own pets but we cannot do whatever we want with them. If we mistreat them they can be taken away and we can go to jail. Of course there are laws against stealing people. That does not imply the are property.
     
  20. Clizby WampusCat

    Clizby WampusCat Well-Known Member

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    You can judge them but preventing them from doing bad things by enslaving them is ridiculous. We have laws to stop people from violating others rights with due process.

    We have laws against harming others.

    My view is not unlimited freedom. My view is to maximize freedom while maintaining the rights of everyone. So, my view does not unnecessarily restrict freedoms, your does based on the subjective opinions of whoever has the power to enforce them. Whatever the people in power deems beneficial is used to limit others freedom.
     
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